Winter Order of Merit & Ladies’ Mail on Sunday

After almost six months of play, competitors in the Winter Order of Merit played their final round of the series and for a change it was played in warm sunshine, a distinct change from only two weeks ago when it had to be called off because of thick snow covering the course.

Adrian Cunningham saved his best game until the last round; as he hadn’t suffered a cut to his handicap, he played off his original handicap of twenty eight. Adrian came in with a massive score of forty six points, twenty one on the front including a four pointer on the first and twenty five on the back nine which included a further three four point holes.  Adrian said that after a great start everything just seemed to work well for him. Club Secretary Dennis Millington was second with thirty eight points and Steve Anderson playing off five was third with thirty seven points just edging out second team Captain Alan Bennett on count back. 

The three top placed players played together in the last group: Trevor Smith, playing off plus three, faced the almost impossible task of finding three birdies and parring everything else just to get thirty six points, he came in with a score of thirty two. The usually steady and dependable Paul Jenkinson who had been sitting in second place had one of his rare off days and could only score twenty nine points. Trevor was placed second and Paul third but the winner of the 2012/13 Order of Merit was Steve Anderson. Steve had started the day in third place some fifteen points behind the leader but thanks to a sterling effort, he came in with thirty seven points, and being awarded thirty points in the league table for third place, this was enough to take the title in this long and hard fought competition. 

Carl Causbrook headed a tightly packed group in fourth with David Copley, Alan Bennett, Tony Mould and Ian Copley taking fifth to eighth places respectively. Greetham President Martin Boughton, who had won the first competition in 2010/11, finished ninth and organiser Neil Harris crept into tenth. Adam Clegg returned from injury to take the prize for the best Saturday score outside the top twelve and Dennis Millington secured the best Sunday score with another dogged performance in the final event. 

Order of Merit winner Steve Anderson said that before the start of the final round it felt like a very tough ask but he stuck to his task getting off to a good start by parring the first, he dropped only four shots in his round. He went on to say that the recent change in the flag colours helped enormously as on some holes it is difficult to see the bottom half of the flag stick. Course Manager Adi Porter said that they had set the flags out as per the tee markings, red at the front for Ladies, yellow for Men and white at the back for the competition tees; there have been very positive comments received from members supporting the change.

No one player has been able to win more than once during this season’s competition, although some have come close to it. Neil Harristhanked all of the fifty three members who played in it and for supporting the competition.  He went on to say that £1253 had been shared out in varying amounts in prizes throughout the competition including £495 for the final. The WOOM will be starting all over again, this time as a club competition, on the twenty sixth of October.

In the photo, second in from the left is Greetham Valley President Martin Boughton, to his left holding the trophy is the overall winner for 2012/2013, Steve Anderson. Next to Steve is organiser Neil Harris and to Neil’s left is the final weeks winner, Adrian Cunningham. 

As previously reported, Greetham Valley will be the venue for the England Boy’s Championships qualifier next year. To celebrate this, Greetham Valley Pro Jim Hetherington will be starting his Junior Academy on Saturday 13th April. This will be for six one hour lessons with equipment loan, balls and free membership to the Academy course for three months. All this will be only £48, less than Jim charges for a full one hour lesson. 

Greetham Valley are keen to promote Junior Golf and to increase Junior participation at the club. Jim and the management are encouraging children to take part to give them a sense of being part of something where they will get guidance, support and encouragement should they wish to continue their golf development after the initial introduction to the game. The push to bring more Juniors into golf will continue throughout the season with a variety of free taster sessions which start in May and structured Junior courses. Jim can be contacted at Greetham Valley james.hetherington@yahoo.co.uk or on 07712 052763.

Greetham Valley Managing Director Robert Hinch said that they fully support Jim’s efforts to provide a solid base from which youngsters can start golf. He went on to say that it is very important for parents to know that their children are learning to play the game in a safe and controlled environment.

After beating local rivals Burghley Park in the last round of the Mail on Sunday team knockout competition, Greetham Valley’s Ladies faced Oundle at home in the next round on Sunday. The previous round was played in a mix of snow, rain and high winds; this one was very different, a slight breeze, quite warm and the ground firm enough for the ball to run.

Gilly Grant leading from the front beat Liz Swan seven and five, Annie McCulloch who had stepped in at the last moment as Sue Brand was ill, followed this up with a three and two win over Ros Riley.

Pat Jamieson, who has been in excellent form recently, lost her game against Karen Joyce four and two. Ladies Captain Sheila Douty playing in her first Mail on Sunday game also lost her game against an in form Gerry Robinson four and three. Scratch player Sophie Beardsall had to give Pat Silburn ten shots but she still managed to halve her game scoring a remarkable two under par, this left the overall match tied. 

Despite Sophie’s heroics she then had to face Pat in a sudden death play off. On the first hole Sophie was on the green in two, six foot from the hole only to see Pat put her third shot some two foot from the hole with a shot in hand. Sophie, under extreme pressure, lipped out and Pat sunk her two footer for a par to knock Greetham Valley out and take Oundle into the next round. Gilly Grant thanked her team for playing their hearts out with special thanks to Sophie for giving them a chance with the extra play off hole.